My Life with God

A Tribe to Avoid

I love my tribe, but I hope neither I nor anyone in my tribe is an example of tribalism.

We’re all seen the car stickers, cups, shirts, and other gear that promotes “my tribe.” We find our people. We love our people. We appreciate our people. I get it, because community is important. Belonging is important.

We need to make sure it’s healthy. We don’t want unhealthy affirmation and accountability in our relationships. Too often, our commitment to our tribes, our people, our community has crossed the line, and we are tribal. As affirming as it might feel, it’s not healthy—for us or for the people around us. We find and stick with our tribes to the extent of divisiveness. We assign people to a tribe, and we use it as a label—which is sometimes served as a slur. It’s a convenient shortcut. We short-circuit our consideration, compassion, and respect. And it’s time to change.

Let’s look for more. Instead of rushing to fill in the blanks, let’s invite the blanks. We can sit with the gaps for a while as we discover what truly fills them. When we rush to label and divide, we lose the sense of who people are. In the process, we reveal something about ourselves.

Let’s be curious, humble, and engaging. Be curious.

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